Public Programs

Past Programs

"Light on Sound" Poetry Celebration Held at Latimer House

For those with disabilities it is frustrating that often the only exhibits or programs made truly handicap accessible are those with a topic pertaining to disability.  That was what made the Poetry Celebration, held at the Lewis Latimer House, so refreshing – an evening for local Queens’ poets to show off their talents in a venue accessible to the deaf community, complete with ASL and CART interpretation.

The celebration was part of Light on Sound, by artists Jessica Houston and Maya Pindyck, an interactive poetry installation that celebrates the multi-cultural Flushing community.  Houston and Pindyck conducted three poetry workshops during which participants shared thoughts and experiences and wrote and recorded poems in Mandarin, Spanish, and English.  These poems are activated by light in the Lewis H. Latimer House and on signs on Flushing street lampposts, which invite passers-by to call in to hear the poems as well as record their own.  The one-night open mic event included Flushing residents who contributed to the installation as well as the renowned deaf slam poet Douglas Ridloff and Former Queens Poet Laureate Paolo Javier.


Light on Sound Poster

Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum Held Artist-Led Family Workshop

From May 1st-10th, 2015, with support provided by the Contemporary Art Partnerships, the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum presented a formal garden fountain pool installation of handcrafted glass pieces by MJ Levy Dickson, Like Seaglass: A Hand Full of Light-Reflection. In conjunction with the exhibit, an artist-led family workshop, Search and Discovery, was held on June 7, 2015, allowing people with disabilities the chance to participate in the art process and explore the sensory and tactile nature of Dickson's art glass creations. Participants were able to take a piece of their choice from the glass arrangement and discover relationships with the colors, shapes, and textures that they found around them on the mansion grounds. The participants then created colorful collages based on their discoveries. This inclusive program fostered sensory engagement and art appreciation for diverse audiences.

Dad and daughter putting glass into basketKneeling boy rubs two pieces of glass together as girl looks onKneeling boy interacting with pile of sea glass, as adults look onGirl sitting on ground is intensely focused on "stream" of sea glassTeacher points at sea glass as two students look onBoy reaches down to pick up piece of sea glass that is resting on top of rock slabBoy sits at table pasting pieces of colored paper on white piece of paper to make a collageTeacher holding manila envelopes looks at boy across table that is covered with collages as adults and children look on.  Teacher holding manila envelopes shows a collage for all to see.Close-up of orange and blue sea glass reflecting sunlightClose-up of multi-colored pieces of sea glass"Stream" of sea glass leads to basket sitting on rock slabClose-up of orange and blue sea glass reflecting sunlight

Like Sea Glass, A Hand Full of Light, Search and Discovery Poster

Initial Performances of "Before We Grew" for Children with Autism at Old Stone House

In May, and again in November of 2015, Spellbound Theatre and the Old Stone House, presented a multi-sensory, non-narrative performance appropriate for families with children on the Autism spectrum. The performance was tactile, participatory, and relied on visual storytelling and one-on-one connection between performers and audience. Spellbound artists worked with Old Stone House Education Director Maggie Weber and the education staff of the Old Stone House as well as Autism Spectrum Disorder experts from Devereux to create an interactive performance structure appropriate for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Using puppetry, animation and music, "Before We Grew" tells the story of Hendrick, a young boy who lived in Brooklyn long ago. Join Hendrick as he explores the world around him and meets birds, bugs, a chipmunk and more. Hopefully, the play will be performed at additional HHT sites.

Actress hands green object from crate to a child and his mother for them to touchWith audience in view an actor on the right is eating an apple while an actress is sitting on the floor to the left.  In the middle is a purple felt with objects placed on it.  Girl presents half eaten apple to actressActors show little boy a nest and puppet as audience looks onActor shows little girl a puppet as actress looks down on her smiling.  Girl is playing with purple felt.Actors show audience nest with digital eggs inside and puppetSet of Before We Grew - A  gray tower with a red door and roof surrounded by green and gray wall hangings and vines on ceilingTwo actors kneeling, pose in front of set.  One holds a puppet.Panoramic view of set with seating for audience in front

Before We Grew Poster

Exhibit Inspiration for Workshops for Individuals with Disabilities

From October 15th-December 21st of last year, the Morris-Jumel Mansion presented an exhibit, Touch History: An Installation, by Kathleen Granados and curated by Jasmine Helm that gave visitors the chance to experience and create art in a whole new way. In conjunction with the exhibit, a series of drop-in touch tours, for individuals who are blind or partially sighted, developed in partnership with Art Beyond Sight, were held. Participants went on a guided touch tour of Touch History and were able to experience the art, history and textures of the mansion. In addition, a workshop for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, along with their families, was held on November 22nd. At the workshop, participants created a soft sculpture with fabric, buttons, and other materials inspired by Touch History and the interiors of the Mansion.

blue touch history workshop puppetA chair, table, and other assorted objects from the Touch History exhibit



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